Moving your office at any time can be a stressful event, with a lot to consider. Relocating during the Covid-19 crisis brings additional considerations for you. Here are our Top 10 things to keep in mind when moving during the pandemic.
1. What safety protocols will my moving company have in place?
Whatever mover you choose it’s important to question them to ensure the safety of you and your staff. At Arrow, we always keep your health and the health of our staff in mind, from the initial walk-through to the end of the job. Our team has their temperature taken every morning. Our dispatcher asks each mover a series of questions from how they feel that day to who they’ve been in contact with since we last saw them. We send our guys home if we have the slightest doubt they’re in good health, for your protection and ours. We sanitize our trucks before and after every move. If your mover is not doing these things, find another mover.
2. Do I need to sterilize my space?
If your office has been completely closed for the last few months (at least two weeks) there should be no problems. If not, you’ll want to sterilize your space before the movers arrive so that they don’t bring potentially infected furniture or equipment to your new space. Your new location should be sanitized before the movers arrive with your things.
3. Do I need to be concerned about my contractors?
From the team that installs your phone system, lays the carpeting, paints the walls, installs your security system and anyone else who will be working in your space before you arrive ask them what type of safety procedures they have in place. Take nothing for granted. Safety procedures add time and money to a job, but the added investment is important and can potentially save you both time and money in lost productivity if one of your employees gets sick because a contractor wasn’t careful.
4. How long will my move take?
Expect your move to take longer than normal. Your movers must practice social distancing and depending on the occupancy at your current address and your new one, the move out and in may take longer due to the capacity of the elevators, stairwells, hallways, etc.
5. Should I have my staff there during the move?
If possible, it’s best to have your staff not be present when the movers are doing their work. The less interaction between the moving team and yours, the greater the level of safety. If it’s impossible to not have your team there, they will need to be aware of social distancing between each other and the movers.
6. How will remote workers come in and pack their supplies and belongings?
Desks need to be cleared out, bookcases and files cabinets typically need to be emptied (at least the top 2 or 3 drawers of file cabinets), pictures need to be taken down, etc. You’ll need to consider when to bring in your staff to pack their things. Some movers will offer a packing service. This can be a very smart investment during the Covid crisis. If your people will be packing themselves, consider staggering the schedule so there is less interaction. Have them wipe down all surfaces the movers will be touching after they’ve packed their belongings or bring in a professional sterilization service.
7. What if vendors show up without protective gear?
It’s smart to have a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to give to vendors who show up with masks, gloves, etc. Be prepared in case they aren’t.
8. What do I need to ask my landlord?
You should check with your landlord regarding any move rules that may have changed. Are there exclusive elevators for the movers? Have access rules changed? Some buildings previously only allowed movers in at night or on weekends, but with occupancy down your landlord may let you move during the week and during the day. This can be a cost-effective alternative to night or weekend moves. If you’re not sure, put your mover in touch with your landlord or property manager.
9. What should I tell my staff?
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that you communicate clearly with your team. Moving is always a time of change and disruption…reassure them that everything is being handled by professionals and that proper precautions are in place for their protection.
10. How do I reduce the stress of the move?
Have patience. By anticipating the above, hiring the right moving company and being patient, you’ll be back to productivity, safely in your new location sooner than you may think!